Especially for tasks like automatic meeting transcription, it would be useful to automatically recognize speech also while multiple speakers are talking simultaneously. For this purpose, speech separation can be performed, for example by using maximum SNR beamforming. However, even when good interferer suppression is attained, the interfering speech will still be recognizable during those intervals, where the target speaker is silent. In order to avoid the consequential insertion errors, a new soft masking scheme is proposed, which works in the time domain by inducing a large damping on those temporal periods, where the observed direction of arrival does not correspond to that of the target speaker. Even though the masking scheme is aggressive, by means of missing feature recognition the recognition accuracy can be improved significantly, with relative error reductions in the order of 60% compared to maximum SNR beamforming alone, and it is successful also for three simultaneously active speakers. Results are reported based on the SOLON speech recognizer, NTT's large vocabulary system , which is applied here for the recognition of artificially mixed data using real-room impulse responses and the entire clean test set of the Aurora 2 database.